Bill Parcels, an all time great coach and NFL icon used to have a saying…”Don’t eat the cheese.” Referring to players reading their press clipings and watching their own higlight reels. Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson showed he might have been doing a little munching during his recent interview with NFL network the week of the Superbowl.
During the live interview, the NFL’s all time leader in yards from scrimmage showed himself to be a bit on the cocky side as he drew praise from the man who’s record he actually broke. Marshall Faulk called Johnson “A delight to watch,” and “My top running back.” At one point there was kind of an awkward silence as I believe Faulk was expecting Johnson to give him a compliment and the Tennessee running back just kind of stared back. It finally took Rich Eisen to ask Johnson “How does that make you feel when someone like Marshall Faulk says that about you,” to coax Johnson to say something. Johnson even reminded Faulk that two years ago when he was coming out as a pro and Marshall unveiled his top 5 running backs Chris Johnson failed to make the list. The former East Carolina Pirate was even quoted earlier in the week as saying “I wanna be the highest paid running back in the league.”
This seems like a far cry from the reports of a quiet kid at the combine who wasn’t highly recruited in high school after breaking his leg senior year. Most D-1 schools actually wanted Johnson as a cornerback instead of running back and East Carolina was one of the few who wanted him to toat the rock. Bare in mind I DON’T think Chris Johnson is the next Pac-Man Jones but I think it will be very interesting to see how coach Fisher handles Johnson’s ego through training camp and the season next year.
The Titans superstar also mentioned during the interview about a meeting the team had the week of the last game against the Seattle Seahawks. Johnson said that Fisher basically put the goal of him reaching 2,000 yards ahead of actually winning the game. In the middle of this conversation coach Fisher actually walked on stage, much to the shagrin of CJ, and set the record straight about wanting to win the game first and then thinking about records later.
When asked if CJ was a coachs’ dream Fisher gave a smirk, looked at Johnson, and said that he would find out next year when he split carries between Lendale White and Javon Ringer. Of course Fisher was only joking but this is what makes him the best coach in the league. He knows how to mesh superstars with role players and knows how to deal with certain players who may have a little more bravado. The last time the Titans had the best player at his position it was Albert Haynesworth and now he is gone because of a lavish 100 million dollar contract offered by the Redskins. Lets just hope Fisher can keep the new best player humble enough to stay in Tennessee for years to come.